Lawmakers may block FG’s 50% VAT increase
Indications have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence on increasing the Value Added Tax from five per cent to 7.5 per cent may hit a brick wall in the National Assembly.
The Guardian’s findings showed that some senators have vowed to mobilise against the success of the tax increase bill in the National Assembly.
The President had during the presentation of the 2020 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly last Tuesday hinted that a bill would soon be sent to the National Assembly to actualise the tax increase.
Some lawmakers, however, believe the Federal government was grossly misadvised on the matter.
Former Senate Majority Leader, Muhammed Ali Ndume, said the increase would make no economic sense because it could worsen economic hardship among the ordinary people, who he noted, were already suffering so much.
He added that it could also compound the security problems of the country, noting that economic hardship plays serious roles in the insecurity that has bedeviled virtually every part of the country.
On his part, former Benue State governor, Senator Gabriel Suswam, expressed concerns that any increase in the VAT would produce serious negative consequences on small businesses and further frustrate the ordinary people.
“This is because if we say that VAT will be moved from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, the exemptions from the VAT are small because most of the aggregate economic activities are small business enterprises. The 7.5 per cent VAT is on the high side and has exemption only on food items,” he said.
Also, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha was of the view that the VAT increase bill would be thrown out of Senate whenever it is presented because of its tendency to bring more hardship.
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